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US Army's Black Hawk chopper may soon fly without a pilot

Staff writer ▼ | November 4, 2015
As the US military works toward more autonomous capabilities, the Army has come one step closer to making the infamous Black Hawk unmanned.
Black Hawk
Technology   To make the infamous Black Hawk unmanned
Last year, aircraft manufacturer Sikorsky announced its intention to develop a brand new version of the UH-60A, also known as the Black Hawk helicopter. The goal: To make the aircraft fully functional without the need of a pilot.

Conducting tests at Sikorsky’s Aircraft Development Flight Center, an autonomous Black Hawk successfully delivered an amphibious all-terrain vehicle.

"[The helicopter] came in, picked up [the AATV], flew five to seven kilometers in an air route, delivered it to a ground location and released it," said Paul Rogers, director of the Army’s tank Automotive Research Development and Engineering Center (TARDEC), according to Defense One.

The self-flying rotorcrafts come equipped with Sikorsky’s new hardware-and-software package known as Matrix, which improves the helicopter’s self-steering capabilities.

But the test also displayed Sikorsky’s improvements with autonomous ground vehicles. Once delivered, the AATV conducted its own tests, and managed to coordinate remotely with the Black Hawk.


 

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